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Xyrem, also known as Sodium Oxybate (Oral Route)

Xyrem (Sodium Oxybate): A Comprehensive Review - Relief for Narcolepsy Symptoms with Potential Risks and Benefits. Xyrem, also known as sodium oxybate, is a restricted distribution CNS depressant used to reduce cataplexy attacks and excessive daytime sleepiness in narcolepsy patients. Learn about its dosage forms, how it works, and the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy involved. Consider the pros and cons of Xyrem, including potential side effects, interactions, and the potential for addiction. Make an informed decision about this medication.

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Xyrem, also known as Sodium Oxybate (Oral Route): A Comprehensive Review

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Xyrem, also known as sodium oxybate, is a restricted distribution central nervous system (CNS) depressant that is used to reduce the number of cataplexy (weak or paralyzed muscles) attacks or excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) in patients with narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is an uncontrollable desire for sleep or a sudden attack of deep sleep.

Brand Names

Xyrem is the US brand name for sodium oxybate. In Canada, it is known by the brand name Myslee.

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Dosage Forms

Xyrem is available in the following dosage forms:

  • Solution
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How Xyrem Works

Sodium oxybate is believed to act on central nervous system (CNS) pathways to reduce the incidents of cataplexy, or sudden excessive sleepiness that often accompanies narcolepsy. It is thought to activate a neurotransmitter known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which strengthens the connection between nerve cells in the brain and can help reduce excessive daytime sleepiness.

Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (Xyrem REMS)

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Due to the potential risks associated with Xyrem, it can only be obtained through a restricted distribution program called the Xyrem REMS program. This program requires that patients and providers register with the program, as well as monitor the use of Xyrem to prevent misuse of the drug.

Pros and Cons of Xyrem

Xyrem can provide relief from the symptoms of narcolepsy, however, there are also risks associated with its use. For example, if prescribed doses are not taken as directed or monitored, it can lead to serious side effects and interactions with other medications. Additionally, there exists the potential for addiction or dependence, as Xyrem is a CNS depressant and can lead to abuse and misuse.

Conclusion

Xyrem (sodium oxybate) is a CNS depressant that is used to reduce the number of cataplexy attacks or excessive daytime sleepiness in patients with narcolepsy. It is available only from a single central pharmacy and must be obtained through a restricted distribution program called Xyrem REMS Program. The potential benefits of Xyrem must be weighed against the risks associated with its use.

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